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Tree Trimming Cost

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

In West Palm Beach, you should expect to spend between $80 and $1000 on tree trimming. The tree trimming cost generally varies depending on the time needed to complete the procedure. Since small non-risky trees require minimal time, they have the lowest cost, with professionals charging as low as $80 to $150. The largest trees take the most time – this places their cost near or slightly above the $1000 mark. 

Considering the benefits offered by professional tree trimming, spending the amounts mentioned above on the tree care procedure is worth it. Working with professionals helps you avoid property damage, injuries, and tree damage. 

Professional tree trimmers will give your tree a shape that complements its surroundings, get rid of dead and diseased branches, and remove hazardous branches. Safe, healthy, and aesthetically appealing trees will boost your property’s market value. 

Factors Affecting the Tree Trimming Cost in West Palm Beach 

1. Tree Height 

Tree trimming becomes more complicated with increasing tree height. A mature 100-foot red oak will take more time to climb compared to a younger 40-foot red oak. Also, the 100-foot tree will have bigger branches, a large crown, and a more complicated tree shape. 

Compared to the 40-foot red oak, dropping branches from the 100-foot red oak will cause more damage to the neighboring utilities. Also, falling from the taller tree can cause more injuries. 

To avoid both damage and injuries, the professionals will need more safety gear and more planning time when pruning the 100-foot tree compared to when working on the shorter red oak. While both trees belong to the same species, their trimming costs will vary significantly because of their height difference. 

  • Short tree trimming cost – These trees have a height of below 30 feet. They have small crowns and are much easier to climb. This puts their trimming cost between $80 and $400. 
  • Medium tree trimming cost – Most of the trees in West Palm Beach are medium-sized, fitting in the 30 to 60 feet height range. To trim one of these trees, professionals charge $150 to $875.  
  • Large tree trimming cost – Trees in this category have a height of above 60 feet. In West Palm Beach, some of the trees that grow to this height include white pines, the large variety of red oaks, and the eucalyptus. If you have one of these trees, you should expect a tree trimming cost of $200 to $1000. 

2. Accessibility 

To make their work easier, professionals nowadays use bucket trucks. Compared to manual climbing, the bucket trucks reduce the amount of time needed to reach the tree crown. Also, it improves safety by minimizing the risk of falling. 

Bucket trucks, however, are only usable on trees that are very accessible – the trucks need a spacious parking area to operate from. In West Palm Beach, trees are often surrounded by utilities and other plants, making bucket truck use impossible. 

In the event a bucket truck cannot be used, the tree trimming professionals have to use manual climbing. Because of the extra time needed and the risks involved, the professionals often increase the tree trimming cost by 30% to 40%. 

If you had been charged $400 to trim your tree with a bucket truck, this cost may increase to between $520 and $560 if the bucket truck is unusable and someone has to climb your tree manually. 

3. Possibility of Property Damage 

Since tree trimming involves cutting branches and dropping them to the ground, anything under the tree crown – or near the tree – is generally at the risk of damage. For this reason, trimming trees that are standing next to utility lines, buildings, or other structures is generally more complicated. 

If your tree is next to your house, professionals will have the branches they intend to cut tied with ropes – this will keep the branches from falling freely after being cut. Next, the tree trimmers will use the ropes to guide the cut branches down, without touching your house. This procedure takes more time and requires more effort, which leads to a higher tree trimming cost. 

When trimming trees standing on open ground, less time and effort are needed since the branches can be allowed to fly off to the ground. This means a reduced tree trimming cost. 

4. Tree Health 

Trees in West Palm Beach are affected by pests and diseases from time to time. Pests feed on the tree’s important nutrients, weakening its structure. Most diseases will also make the tree weak. When working on unhealthy trees, the professionals have to be extra cautious to avoid stepping on weak branches, which could lead to falling – this takes more time and often forces the tree trimmers to charge a higher tree trimming cost. 

After trimming a diseased tree, tree service providers have to invite a professional arborist to your home to diagnose the tree. After diagnosis, the arborist will recommend the pesticides and/or medications you can use to restore the tree’s health. Depending on how advanced the pest-infestation or disease is, you may spend an extra $50 to $500 on the tree’s treatment. 

5. Tree Stability 

Unstable trees are riskier to work on – if the stability issues are advanced, the risk of the tree falling is extremely high. To eliminate the possibility of the tree falling and to increase the rate at which the tree recovers, tree trimmers often spend some of their time implementing stabilizing mechanisms – for example, cabling. While this does result in a higher tree trimming cost, it does help property owners eliminate hazards from their homes. 

Some of the issues that lead to reduced tree stability include: 

  • Extreme weather conditions – These could include high winds, storms, lightning strikes, and flooding. These may crack tree trunks, bend the trees, or affect the tree’s anchor point (the roots) which could increase the tree’s risk of falling. 
  • Human activities – Heavy vehicles can bump into trees, destabilizing them. Also, if heavy machines have been operating near the tree’s base, these could damage the roots, making the tree susceptible to falling. 
  • Cracks – These are an indicator that the tree’s structural health is highly compromised. An arborist may need to inspect trees with large cracks to determine the possibility of repair and healing. If the trees can’t heal, tree removal may be the best solution. 
  • Extreme leans – Slight tree leans are common and may not be an indicator of ill-stability. However, when the leaning angle increases significantly, this could be an indicator that the tree might fall if not stabilized. 

6. Number of Trees 

The tree trimming cost does favor those who decide to invest in bulk trimming. To give you an example, you may be charged $300 to trim one 30-foot crepe myrtle tree. However, if you trim ten 30-foot crepe myrtles, your total may add up to $2500 – this means that you will be saving $50 on each tree. 

The higher cost when trimming one tree is generally a result of various fixed costs that do not change irrespective of the number of trees. The fixed costs may include fuel costs, travel fees, the cost of licenses & permits, etc. 

7. Travel Fees 

When planning a tree trimming project, homeowners have two options – work with professionals nearest their homes or invite a team that resides a significant distance from their property. 

The first option is an ideal way to avoid the travel fee. When a property owner decides to go with the second option, they may have to pay a travel fee of about $0.5 per mile. Depending on the time spent on the road, the travel fee can add up to about $50 to $200. 

Tree Trimming Cost Per Hour 

Tree trimmers prefer to charge a fixed cost. Tree trimming is often affected by a wide range of factors, including: 

  • Years of experience
  • Tree trimming tools 
  • The number of workers 

A company with an experienced team and advanced tools will take lesser time compared to a company with less-experienced workers and older tools. 

To avoid operating at a loss or charging the tree owner more money than necessary, tree trimmers prefer to quote a fixed cost that covers the labor costs, insurance, travel fee etc.  It is in the fixed cost that the companies often factor in an hourly cost of $25 to $50 for every worker. 

DIY Vs Hiring Professional Tree Trimmers 

Before deciding to convert tree trimming into a DIY project, you should consider the risks and the costs you will need to take care of: 

DIY Trimming Risks 

  • Falling from the tree could leave you with injuries 
  • Dropping the branches you cut on your house could result in expensive repairs 
  • Trimming the tree incorrectly could result in tree damage 
  • The sharp tools could cause significant injuries 

The Costs 

You will need to get the following tree trimming tools from the local hardware: 

  • Loppers and hand-held pruners: $50 
  • Ladder: $150 to $500 
  • Safety gear: $50 to $150 
  • Heavy-duty gas trimmer: $50 per day 
  • Gas pole pruner: $150 to $300 
  • Dumping fees: $25 to $100

If the risks and the costs mentioned above are worth more than the tree trimming cost, hiring professionals may be the best option. The risks and costs increase with tree height – hence, if your tree is over 60 feet tall, you should hire professional tree trimmers.

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